Article

Climate Dynamics

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 35-51

First online:

Multiproxy summer and winter surface air temperature field reconstructions for southern South America covering the past centuries

  • R. NeukomAffiliated withOeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR), University of BernInstitute of Geography, Climatology and Meteorology, University of Bern Email author 
  • , J. LuterbacherAffiliated withDepartment of Geography; Climatology, Climate Dynamics and Climate Change, Justus Liebig University of Giessen
  • , R. VillalbaAffiliated withInstituto Argentino de Nivología, Glaciología y Ciencias Ambientales (IANIGLA), CONICET
  • , M. KüttelAffiliated withOeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR), University of BernInstitute of Geography, Climatology and Meteorology, University of BernDepartment of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Washington
  • , D. FrankAffiliated withSwiss Federal Research Institute WSL
  • , P. D. JonesAffiliated withClimatic Research Unit, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia
  • , M. GrosjeanAffiliated withOeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR), University of BernInstitute of Geography, Climatology and Meteorology, University of Bern
  • , H. WannerAffiliated withOeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR), University of BernInstitute of Geography, Climatology and Meteorology, University of Bern
  • , J.-C. AravenaAffiliated withCentro de Estudios Cuaternarios de Fuego Patagonia y Antártica (CEQUA)
    • , D. E. BlackAffiliated withSchool of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, Stony Brook University
    • , D. A. ChristieAffiliated withLaboratorio de Dendrocronología, Facultad de Ciencias Forestales y Recursos Naturales, Universidad Austral de Chile Valdivia
    • , R. D’ArrigoAffiliated withTree-Ring Laboratory, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Earth Institute at Columbia University
    • , A. LaraAffiliated withLaboratorio de Dendrocronología, Facultad de Ciencias Forestales y Recursos Naturales, Universidad Austral de Chile ValdiviaNúcleo Científico Milenio FORECOS, Fundación FORECOS
    • , M. MoralesAffiliated withInstituto Argentino de Nivología, Glaciología y Ciencias Ambientales (IANIGLA), CONICET
    • , C. Soliz-GamboaAffiliated withSection of Ecology and Biodiversity, Faculty of Science, Institute of Environmental Biology, Utrecht University
    • , A. SrurAffiliated withInstituto Argentino de Nivología, Glaciología y Ciencias Ambientales (IANIGLA), CONICET
    • , R. UrrutiaAffiliated withLaboratorio de Dendrocronología, Facultad de Ciencias Forestales y Recursos Naturales, Universidad Austral de Chile Valdivia
    • , L. von GuntenAffiliated withOeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR), University of BernInstitute of Geography, Climatology and Meteorology, University of BernDepartment of Geosciences, Climate System Research Center, University of Massachusetts

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Abstract

We statistically reconstruct austral summer (winter) surface air temperature fields back to ad 900 (1706) using 22 (20) annually resolved predictors from natural and human archives from southern South America (SSA). This represents the first regional-scale climate field reconstruction for parts of the Southern Hemisphere at this high temporal resolution. We apply three different reconstruction techniques: multivariate principal component regression, composite plus scaling, and regularized expectation maximization. There is generally good agreement between the results of the three methods on interannual and decadal timescales. The field reconstructions allow us to describe differences and similarities in the temperature evolution of different sub-regions of SSA. The reconstructed SSA mean summer temperatures between 900 and 1350 are mostly above the 1901–1995 climatology. After 1350, we reconstruct a sharp transition to colder conditions, which last until approximately 1700. The summers in the eighteenth century are relatively warm with a subsequent cold relapse peaking around 1850. In the twentieth century, summer temperatures reach conditions similar to earlier warm periods. The winter temperatures in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were mostly below the twentieth century average. The uncertainties of our reconstructions are generally largest in the eastern lowlands of SSA, where the coverage with proxy data is poorest. Verifications with independent summer temperature proxies and instrumental measurements suggest that the interannual and multi-decadal variations of SSA temperatures are well captured by our reconstructions. This new dataset can be used for data/model comparison and data assimilation as well as for detection and attribution studies at sub-continental scales.

Keywords

Climate change Climate field reconstructions Temperature South America